By Victor Graham
The First Lady of Bayelsa State Dr. Mrs Gloria Diri on Tuesday had an interactive session with some girls and stakeholders from the four constituencies of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The meeting came on the heels of a recent protest by a group of girls over alleged marginalisation by some leaders of Ologbobiri Community in Southern Ijaw.
At the interactive session held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, Mrs Diri stated that empowering the Girl Child through Education and Skills Acquisition will change the negative stereotype associated with the Girls.
Media Aide to the First Lady, Maria Olodi-Osumah, in a statement said, Mrs Diri who was touched by the plight of the over 50 girls emphasized the need for them to remain resilient in their resolve to have sustainable livelihood, adding that dedication, hardwork, perseverance self worth and confidence are requisites to living a better life.
She promised that concerted efforts will be made with the involvement of all stakeholders to provide Skills Acquisition Center in Oporoma, the headquarters of the local government, where the girls can learn various skills and become self reliant.
Earlier, leader of the Girls, Douye Okpofoni solicited the assistance of Mrs Diri by empowering them with skills that will enable them achieve their full potentials in life.
A session for Mindset Transformation anchored by Mr Adanu Ibrahim highlighted the different opportunities available especially in the Agricultural Sector and how they can harness same to uplifting their living standard.
In her remarks, the facilitator of the meeting and Director Center for Women Development in Southern Ijaw Hon.Tari Chrispy appreciated the First Lady for giving attention to the demands of the girls, pledging to work with other stakeholders to ensure the actualization of the Empowerment program.
Elder Stateswoman, Apreatari Ogugu, Wife of the Secretary to the State Government Mrs Konbowei Benson, Wife of the Local Goverment Area Chairman Mrs Claris Kia, Special Adviser to the Governor on Poverty Alleviation Hon Eunice Akene and her Women in Politics Counterpart, Hon. Josephine Ekeowei, Director General Center for Women Development Elizabeth Bidei, amongst others attended the meeting.
The leader of the girls, Douye Okpofoni, a native of Ologbobiri in a viral video recently, lamented the marginalization and sexual exploitation they have been facing in the hands of some men from the area.